Harvey Weinstein leaves NYPD in handcuffs

Harvey Weinstein leaves the NYPD precinct in handcuffs after he was arrested, processed and charged with rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women.

Posted: May 25, 2018 9:30 PM
Updated: May 25, 2018 9:42 PM

Seven months after women began coming forward with stories alleging sexual misconduct by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, the former movie mogul has been arraigned on charges of rape and committing a criminal sexual act in the first degree.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office says Friday's charges relate to incidents with two separate women in 2013 and 2004. More charges are expected as a grand jury continues to hear testimony in the state's case with at least four women expected to testify, a source familiar with the investigation told CNN.

More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault in alleged incidents that span several decades.

Weinstein has in the past denied all allegations of "non-consensual sex" and continues to do so.

"Mr. Weinstein has always maintained that he has never engaged in non-consensual sexual behavior with anyone. Nothing about today's proceedings changes Mr. Weinstein's position," attorney Benjamin Brafman said in a statement after the arraignment. "He has entered a plea of not guilty and fully expects to be exonerated."

Still, news that Weinstein is facing criminal charges prompted strong reactions from Hollywood figures, including some of his accusers.

"Sending love to all my sisters today who stood up against a monster... so many emotions... I am proud of and grateful to you all," actress Mira Sorvino tweeted.

Sorvino told The New Yorker in October that Weinstein made unwanted sexual advances toward her when they worked on a project together in 1995.

Actress Anne Hathaway shared on her Instagram a statement from Time's Up, the entertainment industry-backed advocacy group and legal defense fund that emerged in the aftermath of the Weinstein scandal to support women in the workplace.

"Today a man whose actions were so egregious that they spawned a global reckoning has been taken into custody," the statement from the group said. "Harvey Weinstein shattered the lives of an untold number of women. We stand with them and remain in solidarity with women everywhere who have faced unsafe and abusive workplaces. We look forward to seeing justice prevail."

Another one of Weinstein's accusers, Asia Argento, tweeted shortly after Weinstein turned himself in.

"This is the only movie Harvey Weinstein will be remembered for #perpwalk," she wrote.

Activist Tarana Burke, who started the #MeToo movement, released a statement to CNN on Friday.

"This is not a moment to revel in how the mighty have fallen but instead in how the silenced have spoken up, stood together and survived," Burke said. "Weinstein's arrest, for the women who have accused him and others like them around the world, I'm sure feels like a moment of catharsis and it should serve as a cautionary tale for others like [Morgan] Freeman and every day people who toe the line between unacceptable and criminal behavior."

Comedian Kathy Griffin had a strongly worded reaction: "Rot in prison you piece of sh*t."

Actress Rosanna Arquette, who came forward with allegations of her own in a New York Times follow-up report, has not made an official statement, but replied to one internet commenter who told her in part, "If you gals would have spoke up their (sic) would not have been others."

"How dare you," Arquette replied. "We all spoke up years ago and no one listened. Most were threatened to shut up."

Former actress Rose McGowan, one of the first women to publicly accuse Weinstein of assault, gave an interview to Megyn Kelly upon news of Weinstein's arrest, saying, "I can say this, the man who pinned me down had handcuffs on him today."

She also tweeted, "We got you, Harvey Weinstein, we got you."

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